Wild Birds

Barbary Partridges

Barbary Partridges


Barbary Partridges, Alectoris barbara, has its main native range in North Africa and the Canary Islands. It has been introduced to Madeira, though there are no recent records of this species. It is closely related and similar to its western European equivalent, the Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa).

Barbary Partridges on the Grass
Barbary Partridges on the Grass

Breeding / Nesting:

This bird is a resident breeder in dry, open, and often hilly country. It nests in a scantily lined ground scrape laying 10-16 eggs.

Diet / Feeding:

The Barbary Partridge takes a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.


The Barbary Partridges averages 33 to 36 cm in length. It is a rotund bird, with a grey-brown back, grey breast, and buff belly. The face is light grey with a broad reddish-brown gorget. It has rufous-streaked white flanks and red legs. When disturbed, it prefers to run rather than fly, but if necessary it flies a short distance on rounded wings.

A Barbary Partridge Standing In The Ground
A Barbary Partridge Standing In The Ground

It is similar to the Red-legged Partridge, but it has a different head and neck pattern.

Song / Call:

The song is a noisy tre-tre-tre-tre-tre-cheeche-tre-tre-tre.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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